Official: Ashton Kutcher Joins 'Two and a Half Men'

CBS confirmed Friday that
Ashton Kutcher will join the cast of Two and a Half Men, replacing
Charlie Sheen on TV's top-rated sitcom.

will begin production on its ninth season this summer and premiere
with its new cast in the fall.

"I can't wait to get to work with this ridiculously
talented 2.5 team and I believe we
can fill the stage with laughter that will echo in viewers' homes," said
Kutcher. "I can't replace Charlie Sheen but I'm going to work my ass
off to entertain the hell out of people!"

"We are so lucky to have someone as talented, joyful
and just plain remarkable as Ashton joining our family," said Chuck Lorre,
creator and executive producer of Two and
a Half Men
. "Added to that is the deep sigh of relief knowing
that our family stays together. If I was any happier, it'd be illegal."

Kutcher is best known for his role of Michael Kelso on Fox's
teen comedy That 70's Show. He has
also starred in movies Dude, Where's My
The Butterfly Effect, Guess Who and What Happens in Vegas.

"Ashton is a pop culture triple threat-film star, cutting-edge producer and a social media pioneer," said Nina Tassler, president, CBS Entertainment. "He brings creativity, energy and personality to everything he touches. We are thrilled to have him, and excited beyond words for what he brings to the next season of Two and a Half Men."

Hiring the right actor to take Sheen's place on Men means
millions to Warner Bros. and to CBS. Warner Bros. stands to make several
billions of  dollars (that's billions, with a b) on Two and a Half Men
in domestic and international station and cable deals, while CBS
charges more than $200,000 per 30-second spot in the sitcom, which is
TV's most-watched. TV stations have the right to pass on the Sheen-less
episodes, but if new episodes of Men continue to perform, TV stations should still want to acquire them.

B&C was first to report Kutcherwas in consideration for the role on May 12.

Tim Baysinger and Paige Albiniak contributed to this report.